Summary of contents of this post
A journey begins with its organization. There are people who love it like us, but there are also people who hate it. But whether you are one of the first or the second, the organization of the trip is a super important point, so from Comiviajeros we will tell you how to organize a trip on your own. We’ve already told you which websites we use most to organize our trips and also which photographic equipment we travel with, but today we want to talk to you about the organization process itself.
First step: Calculate well how much the whole trip can cost you
Imagine that you find a super cheap flight to the place of your dreams, you buy it quickly and then when you start looking for accommodation you realize that in those dates the hotels have impossible prices that escape your budget. You wouldn’t be the first or the last one it happens to, that’s how it is.
To avoid this, the first point of organizing a trip on your own should always be to make an approximate calculation of what the trip will cost you. You can always search for information on the internet (we for example have articles on how much a trip to Scotland, Thailand, Budapest or Route 66 costs), but to get a more specific idea it is up to you to do the calculation yourself taking into account the dates in which you are going to travel and the prices of all things.
1. Flight prices
Depending on the destination, the price of flights can be one of the most important items in your budget, and it is also one of the items that can vary the most depending on the dates and the company with which you do it.
How to arrange a trip on your own: Flight price
We always start planning by looking at flight prices so that we can adjust the dates, using the tips we discussed in our article on how to get cheap flights.
Since for now you are simply budgeting what the trip may cost, always aim for something more than the flight you want in case the price goes up (and if you see a very large offer, make a quick budget and book the flight as soon as possible).
2. Price of accommodation
Another big expense you’re going to make on a trip is lodging. If your trip is going to be to a single destination (for example, if you travel to New York) the search will be more or less simple, but if you plan to travel several destinations (for example making a road trip or a trip to Japan like ours) things get complicated.
How to arrange a trip on your own: Hotel price
In the case of visiting a single city, try to make the accommodation, within your budget, as close to what you want to see in that city (usually the city centre) as this will save you money on internal transport and, above all, you will save time to get to and from the hotel.
If you’re going to several destinations, such as if you’re going on a trip through Thailand, you probably don’t know where you’ll be staying every day yet. In this case, look for accommodations in the essential places to get an idea of how much the accommodations in that country cost (you will adjust the price more when you know where you will be every day).
Of course, it is recommended that you take a look at our tips for finding cheap hotels to get the cheapest accommodation possible.
3. Inland transportation price
This game depends a lot on the type of trip you make. It is not the same whether you go to a single place, travel several in public transport or rent a vehicle. So let’s see all the cases:
If you are going to a single place, you must take into account whether you will need to use public transport or not. If you need public transport, research on the Internet the price of individual tickets, multi-day vouchers (in most cities there are) or if there are tourist passes that include internal transport (as in Paris City Pass).How to organise a trip on your own: Price of internal transportIf you are going to move between several cities by public transport, find out the price of each connection you have to make. For example if you travel to Thailand you can get an idea of the price of those transports by looking at 12go.asia. Or if your trip is to Japan, you’ll have to see if it’s worth the JR Pass.And finally, if you’re going to do a road trip, you’ll have to take into account three things: Price of renting a car: Here’s an article on how to rent a cheap car. Price of gasoline: It depends a lot on the country, so we recommend the website GlobalPetrolPrices where you can see the current price of gasoline in most countries of the world.Kilometers you’re going to travel: Of course the price of gasoline won’t do you any good without knowing the kilometers you’ll do. Here the best thing is to pull Google Maps, but I’ll talk about this later.
4. Price of food
This is something that people don’t usually take into account when planning a trip, but believe me if I tell you that depending on the country this can be a really high game.
How to arrange a trip on your own: Price of food
Of course this is always very relative and depends on what you like to eat or whether you are going to eat from a typical restaurant, fast food or supermarket.
Here our recommendation is that you check the internet, but to get an idea of some sites, in Thailand you can spend less than 15 euros a day per person on food, in Japan less than 30 euros, and in the USA or Europe less than 50 euros a day if you are looking for fast food or ‘menu’ sites.
5. Other expenses you need to think about to arrange a trip on your own
There are other expenses that you will also have to take into account when making your budget such as, for example, the excursions you are going to make and the entrances to the places you want to see. Visit our article on the best excursions and tours in Spanish to see more about this point.
You also have to think if you will need internet in your destination. For example, if you are Spanish and you travel within the European Union, your telephone company will most likely already include internet use in your destination, but if you travel to a destination that is not included in your fare, you will always be able to opt for options such as Holafly, a special SIM card for travel.
Another expense you will also need to consider is travel insurance. As we always recommend at Comiviajeros, if you travel abroad, never do it without insurance, so take this into account when making your budget.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing a trip is insurance. Never travel without insurance! Because you haven’t been saving all year for your holidays to be twisted by an unforeseen event. And so that in addition to travel insurance, save, we have for you this 5% discount on your insurance with IATI, the insurance company that we rely on for all our trips.
Once you have all this you will have an approximate budget of the cost of the trip and you can really start thinking about how to organize a trip on your own as the one you have always wanted.
Second step: Carry out the necessary formalities
Now that you know that you can afford the trip, before further planning, what you must do is make the arrangements you need.
Check that you have all the necessary documentation and that it expires at least 6 months after the trip (passports, international driver’s license…), apply for the necessary visas or permits (such as ESTA in the USA).How to organise a trip on your own: Documentation
Step 3: Create a map and point to the points you want to see.
Here begins the funniest part of the ‘pre-trip’, which is to find out what you will be able to visit when you go to your destination. For this we, since long before we have Comiviajeros, what we do is create a map and write on it the points we are going to visit.
To create the map we use Google My Maps, which allows us to add points of interest and routes by car, bike and walking and then you can open them in the Google Maps application when you’re at the Internet destination in the destination (if you do not have you can download them from home).
How to organize a trip on your own: Our maps
It’s very simple to use. All you have to do is use the search engine to indicate each point of interest and then add it with the ‘Add to map’ button.
Then, if you want, you can customize the points to distinguish what each thing is (for example, an icon for castles, another for ruins, another for restaurants …).
How to organize a trip on your own: Map
But of course, you’re wondering where you’re going to get the points to visit. For this reason, the recommendation is again the Internet. For example in Comiviajeros we have a lot of guides where we recommend everything you can see in each destination.
Another place that we always use to look for what to see in a place are the Lonely Planet guides. They are undoubtedly our essential to plan a trip, but always bearing in mind that in addition to the essential also tend to have some filling with places of dubious real tourist interest.
How to organize a trip on your own: Our guides
Step Four: Calculate Times
You already have the map with what you want to see, but now it’s time to see if with your holidays you’ll really be able to visit everything you want or you’ll have to discard some place. At this point it is very different how to organize a trip to a single destination or to different places.
1. If the trip is to several destinations
If your trip is to multiple places, in road trip plan or for example a trip through Japan, the most important thing is to see if you can visit all the cities and places you want to see or if on the contrary you want to see things beyond your possibilities (something that always happens to us).
How to organize a trip on your own: Map
There are two things to keep in mind on these trips:
Time to see the points of interest: Here pull from the internet and your experience. It is not the same the time to dedicate for example to the Castle of Stirling of Scotland that to the baths of Szechenyi of Budapest. Time of trip between the points of interest: In our case we are joining the points that we created in the previous map and in Google Maps we calculate the hours that take. Our ‘trick’ here in the case of road trips is never to do more than 600 kilometres in one day.
With these two times you can get an idea of what you can see each day of your trip and see if you will have to cut sites or have plenty of time (if you get it give us the trick 😉 ).
How to organize a trip on your own: Map
2. If the trip is to a single city
In the case that the trip is in a single city the important thing is to group the points by zones to be able to see what you will be able to see every day. The best thing is that in the map that you created previously you differentiate the points of each zone with different colors and this way you will be able to get an idea of how much time you will have to dedicate to each zone.
How to organise a trip on your own: City map
Step 5: Create a document with what to do every day
Now that you have an idea of what you are going to do every day, the best thing is to translate it into a document. For this you can use one of our travel templates, which we use to organize the whole trip.
How to organize a trip on your own: Travel template
In these templates we put the itinerary, what we are going to do each day, the recommendations that are giving us places to eat and also what we are spending on the trip (flights, hotels, excursions …).
Thanks to this document you will have an easy planning to follow every day and it will also be very good if you go several people on the trip so that all have visibility of what you are going to do on the trip.
Step Six: Reserve All Things
Okay, now is the key moment. We already have everything planned. We know when we’re going to go, where we’re going to be every day and what we’re going to see in every place. Now is the time to book.
Since at this point you’ll have everything super organized this step will be a mere formality (well, if not because the wallet is suffering at every step) so we are not going to entertain here more than to remind you what you will have to book:
FlightsAccommodation Excursions and tourist passesTrip insuranceInternet
Step 7: Change currency and get a travel card
If your trip is abroad you will have to take into account two key things: If you need to change currency and if it is convenient for you to get a card that does not charge commissions abroad.
How to arrange a trip on your own: Currency exchange
In the case of currency exchange, it is really important to see where you do it and if it is convenient to do it before traveling or directly at the destination. Stop by our article on how to change money at the best price to learn where it’s best to make that currency change.
As for the cards, depending on the bank that you use the commissions when buying or withdrawing money abroad can be very high, so we created an article with the best cards to travel in which we give you all the tips, advantages and disadvantages of all cards to travel in the market.
Don’t forget that the best way to get money or pay abroad are travel cards, your best allies to save the most on your travels. In this post we review the most important, we tell you their advantages and disadvantages and put at your disposal all the discounts and offers we have achieved for you 😉 For example, if you order your Bnext card through our link and recharge 25 euros, you get another 10. We use it a lot to get money when we arrive at the destination. For its part, the N26 card is the best option to pay when you travel.
Eighth step: Write down what you are going to take on the trip
You only need one thing to finish organizing the trip, and that’s to pack. If you are using our templates you will see that there is a section called what to take in which you can write down the things you will need for your trip so that you do not forget anything.
How to arrange a trip on your own: What to bring
Step 9: ENJOY
And that would be everything, so now you have to wait for the trip to arrive and enjoy it to the fullest.
Other content on travel tips that are likely to interest you:
We take this opportunity to remind you, as well as how to organize a trip on your own, that we have several groups on Facebook in which travelers from around the world share experiences and questions about their travels. Here you have the links to the most important ones in case you want to take a look at them or ask a question:
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